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Full text of "Beef cattle feeding suggestions : nutrient requirements, balancing rations, protein supplements, suggested rations"

Q.630.7 
I£6C 
no. 1025 
cop. 5 



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ORCULATIN 






UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 'JLTURF I 
AGRICULTURE LIBRARY, 



Beef Cattle 
Feeding Suggestions 

• Nutrient requirements 

• Balancing rations 

• Protein supplements 

• Suggested rations 







COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN CIRCULAR 1025 



CONTENTS 

NUTRIENTS REQUIRED BY BEEF CATTLE 1 

Water 1 

Energy and Feed Consumption 2 

Protein 3 

Urea 4 

Minerals 5 

Vitamins 6 

RATION CONSIDERATIONS 7 

Balancing Rations 7 

Protein Supplements 9 

Roughage Replacers 11 

Finishing Rations 11 

Starting Cattle on Feed 11 

Grain Processing 12 

SUGGESTED RATIONS FOR FEEDER CATTLE 13 

Rations for Growing or Wintering Steer Calves To 

Get Them Ready for the Finishing Lot 13 

Rations for Growing or Wintering Heifer Calves To 

Get Them Ready for the Finishing Lot 13 

Finishing Rations for Various Classes of Beef Cattle 14 

Handling Feeder Cattle on Pasture 15 

SUGGESTED RATIONS FOR THE BREEDING HERD 15 

Standard Wintering Rations for Beef Cows 15 

Standard Wintering Rations for Beef Bulls 16 

Alternate Wintering Rations for Beef Cows 16 

FEED REQUIRED PER HEAD 17 

NUTRIENT REQUIREMENTS 18 



Publication prepared by Livestock Extension Specialists 
B. A. Weichenthal H. G. Russell 



<3, fe^O.1 
cop v'o 

This publication provides feeding recommendations and suggested 
rations for beef cattle based on recent research at several agricul- 
tural experiment stations. These suggestions are only guidelines, be- 
cause variation in animal response can result from differences in breed, 
age, health, and condition of animals or from differences in climate, 
feed quality, or method of feeding. 

NUTRIENTS REQUIRED BY BEEF CATTLE 

Beef cattle require water, energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins. 

w Rations should be balanced for a particular purpose, so that no one 

nutrient becomes a limiting factor in the animal's production or growth. 

Water 

The amount of water cattle require depends on the kind of feed they 
receive, the amount of water in the feed, and the climate. 

Water makes up more than 60 percent of the body composition of 
a 700-pound steer and more than 50 percent of a 1,000-pound steer. 
The functions of water are: (1) to dissolve nutrients and to move them 
in the blood stream; (2) to aid in removing body wastes; and (3) to 
control body temperature through evaporation at the skin surface as 
well as through the lungs. Animals can get along without food longer 
than they can without water. A limited water intake can reduce appe- 
tite and feedlot performance. 

The amount of water consumed increases rapidly as the air temper- 
ature increases, as shown by the chart below. 



100 
90 - 
80 - 
70 1- 

i eoh 

Q 

50 
CO 
Q 

z 40 

O 

°~ 30 
20 
10 



YEARLINGS 




CALVES 



WATER CONSUMED 
BY CATTLE FULL 
FED IN DRYLOT 



M J 

MONTHS 



Energy and Feed Consumption 

The chief source of energy in animal feeds is carbohydrates. They 
form about 75 percent of all the dry matter in plants. In the usual 
chemical analysis of feeds, carbohydrates are divided into nitrogen- 
free extract (NFE) and fiber. NFE, the more soluble part, includes 
sugars, starches, organic acids (like lactic and acetic acid, present in 
silage), and the most soluble portions of other more complex carbohy- 
drates. Fiber includes the less soluble carbohydrates, such as cellulose 
and lignin. Fats furnish 2.25 times as much energy as do carbohy- 
drates. Natural plant protein sources, besides furnishing nitrogenous 
compounds, also supply energy. 

The approximate energy value of a feed is described as total diges- 
tible nutrients (TDN) ; the energy requirements of beef cattle are 
generally expressed as TDN. The TDN of a feed is the sum of all of 
the digestible organic nutrients — including NFE, fiber, protein, and 
fat (X 2.25). 

While the TDN system has been used for many years, it has been 
criticized because it does not distinguish between energy needs for 
maintenance and for production, and because TDN from roughage does 
not have the same energy value as TDN from grain. 

Attempts have been made to develop a more precise system of eval- 
uating feedstuffs for energy. In recent years the "California" net 
energy system has been used in some of the larger feedlots. The net 
energy system is more sensitive to factors such as differences in cattle, 
climate, and feed quality. It involves a prediction of rate of gain from 
the types and quantities of feeds fed or conversely the amounts of feed 
or ration needed to produce a certain rate of gain. Feeds are evaluated 
separately on their value for maintenance and for production. 

The TDN system is accurate enough to be used as a guide for 
practical feeding programs. The TDN level of a maintenance ration 
or of a growing ration should be adjusted according to the condition 
of the animals. The TDN level of a finishing ration is dependent upon 
the concentrate-to-roughage ratio chosen by the feeder. 

Proper energy levels and energy utilization are important to the 
success of the cattle feeder, for energy represents 85 to 90 percent of 
the nutrients needed by beef cattle. 

Both condition (degree of finish) and age affect the feed capacity 
of cattle. There also seems to be a considerable variation between cat- 
tle of the same condition and age. However, cattle on finishing rations 
will consume approximately 2.5 to 3 percent of their liveweight in air- 
dry feed daily — including grain, protein supplement, and roughage. 



A minimum full feed of grain is considered to be more than 1.5 pounds 
daily per 100 pounds of liveweight, including the grain in corn silage. 
If roughage is available, maximum gain should be obtained with not 
more than about 2 pounds of grain daily per hundredweight. 

Protein 

Protein is a primary component of animal bodies, making up a large 
part of the muscles, internal organs, cartilage, connective tissue, skin, 
and hair. All natural feedstuffs contain some protein because protein 
is a constituent of cell walls and components in plants just as it is in 
animals. Proteins are made up of nitrogenous compounds called amino 
acids, and ruminant animals have a unique way of converting plant 
protein or nonprotein nitrogen plus energy into animal protein. Mi- 
crobes in the rumen attack plant protein and break most of it down into 
simple compounds before this material is incorporated into their own 
bacterial bodies. Similarly, the bacteria can use simple compounds like 
urea to build protein as long as a source of energy is available. 

Protein quality (balance of amino acids) is therefore not as impor- 
tant for ruminants as it is for simple-stomached animals. However, 
recent research at the University of Illinois indicates that the balance 
of amino acids actually absorbed by ruminants can be improved if 
rumen microbial activity on protein is bypassed. Early work with 
specially treated soybean meal showed increased rate of gain in cattle 
and lambs. The purpose was to prevent the "bugs" from breaking down 
the soybean protein in the rumen, allowing protein digestion in the 
abomasum (true stomach) to occur in a manner similar to that in 
simple-stomached animals. More research will be needed before this 
discovery can be applied, but this does represent a potential increase in 
efficiency. 

Natural feedstuffs like grains, pasture forage, silages, and cured 
roughages as well as many byproducts such as soybean meal supply 
protein. The digestibility of protein is quite low in poor-quality rough- 
ages such as cobs, straw, corn stover, or cottonseed hulls. The differ- 
ences in protein digestibility in some common feeds are shown below: 

Corn 77% Soybean meal. . . 92% Alfalfa hay 71% 

Oats 78% Cottonseed meal 80% Red clover hay . . 60% 

Wheat 84% Linseed meal. . . . 84% Corn silage 55% 

Barley 79% Ground cobs. .. . 0% Alfalfa silage. .. . 65% 

Milo 78% Cottonseed hulls 0% Legume pasture 70% 

The requirement for crude protein ranges from 10 percent of the 
air-dry ration for finishing yearling and 2-year-old cattle to 1 1 percent 



crude protein for calves. However, recent research at the University 
of Illinois suggests that fast-growing calves may need 13 percent or 
more crude protein if they are fed a high-energy ration. A general 
practice has been to provide at least 1 1 percent crude protein in growing 
rations for calves or finishing rations for yearlings. The crude protein 
requirement can also be expressed as pounds needed per head per day. 

You will need to make some conversions for silage and haylage in 
estimating the pounds of air-dry feed eaten daily. A fairly accurate 
estimate is to assume that it takes 1.5 pounds of 40-percent moisture 
haylage or 3 pounds of 70-percent moisture silage to equal the dry mat- 
ter in 1 pound of hay. 

In cases of extreme variations in moisture content, calculate the 
actual amount of dry matter and divide by 0.90 to convert to a 90- 
percent dry matter basis. 

Example: Convert 18 pounds of 55-percent moisture corn silage to pounds 
of 90-percent dry matter feed. Dry matter is 100 — 55 or 45 percent. 
Multiplying 0.45 by 18 = 8.1; dividing 8.1 by 0.90 = 9 pounds of 90- 
percent dry matter feed. 

Urea. Urea is a nitrogen-rich synthetic compound manufactured 
by using nitrogen from the air. It contains 45 percent nitrogen, while 
natural protein has 16 percent nitrogen. Since the ratio of nitrogen to 
total crude protein is 1 to 6.25, we can multiply the nitrogen in urea 
by 6.25 to get a protein equivalent value for urea of 281 percent. To 
calculate the protein equivalent furnished by urea (45 percent nitrogen) 
in a supplement, multiply the percent of urea by 2.81. To determine the 
amount of urea in 100 pounds of supplement, divide the percent of 
crude protein equivalent furnished by the urea by 2.81. 

Urea does not furnish energy as do the natural proteins such as 
soybean meal. Approximately 1 pound of urea and 6 pounds of corn 
will replace the protein and energy supplied by 7 pounds of soybean 
meal. 

When cattle are given urea for the first time, an adjustment period 
of about two weeks is required before the rumen microbial population 
can make the most effective use of the urea. Calves may need a longer 
adjustment period than yearlings, and experiments with calves have 
often shown slightly lower weight gains when all-urea supplements 
were used rather than those containing some plant protein. 

The low cost of nitrogen in urea has encouraged its use in finishing 
rations. Urea is most effectively used when fed with a readily available 
source of energy such as grain or molasses. For cattle fed high-grain 



finishing rations, the supplemental protein needed usually represents 
less than a third of the total crude protein in the ration, and a general 
rule has been that urea could supply up to a third of the total crude 
protein in the ration. The following facts are important to remember 
when urea is used: 

• Urea hydrolizes quickly, releasing ammonia which could flood the 
system if urea is fed in large quantities. Ammonia released rapidly 
in large quantities in the rumen is toxic to the animal. 

• Thorough blending or mixing of the urea supplement in the grain 
mixture or (preferably) in the complete diet is vital in controlling 
the amount available to one animal. If this is done, there is no dan- 
ger of ammonia toxicity even if feed intake is relatively high. 

• Cattle on a full feed, either on a self-feeder or with grain before them 
almost continuously in the bunk, should make the most efficient use 
of urea. This permits more frequent intake and tends to supply a 
more constant amount of ammonia in the rumen. 

• Since urea furnishes nitrogen only, rations need to be accurately for- 
mulated. There may be need for additional mineral and vitamin 
supplementation. 

Various high-urea supplements have been formulated, but in recent 
Illinois tests simple supplementation programs involving urea, trace- 
mineralized salt, and calcium-phosphorus sources have been adequate 
for finishing yearling cattle. Feedlot performance was not improved 
when urea-containing rations were supplemented with dehydrated al- 
falfa meal, sulfur, or vitamin E. However, the sulfur level in some 
rations may be borderline or deficient for effective urea utilization, and 
the ratio of nitrogen to sulfur in the ration should be between 12:1 and 
15:1. 

Minerals 

Calcium, phosphorus, and salt are the minerals normally added to 
beef cattle rations or offered free choice. 

A calcium deficiency is most likely to occur in cattle on a high-con- 
centrate ration, a phosphorous deficiency on a high-roughage ration. 
As a rule of thumb, the total ration, on an air-dry basis, should contain 
about 0.5 percent salt and 0.3 percent each of calcium and of phos- 
phorus. Trace-minerals are not usually deficient in Illinois beef ra- 
tions, but be alert for situations or areas where deficiencies have 
occurred. Use trace-mineralized (TM) salt to support adequate trace- 
mineral intake. 



Equal parts, by weight, of dicalcium phosphate and trace-mineral- 
ized salt make a good home-mixed mineral mixture containing approxi- 
mately 12 percent calcium, 9 percent phosphorus, and 50 percent trace- 
mineralized salt. The high phosphorus content makes the mixture 
especially suitable for high-roughage rations. 

Equal parts, by weight, of dicalcium phosphate, finely ground lime- 
stone, and trace-mineralized salt will make a general-purpose simple 
mineral mixture containing approximately 20 percent calcium, 6 per- 
cent phosphorus, and 33 percent salt. The higher calcium content makes 
it more suitable for use with high-concentrate rations. 

Minerals may be fed free-choice or mixed into a complete ration. 
Feed trace-mineralized salt and a simple mineral mixture, each free- 
choice, regardless of ration composition. Cattle will eat little of a sim- 
ple mineral mixture if the ration mineral fortification is adequate. 

Vitamins 

Vitamins are broadly classified into two groups, the fat-soluble (A, 
D, E, and K) and the water-soluble, or B-complex vitamins. 

Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin of animals in direct sunlight 
and is available in sun-cured hay. Cattle in confinement may need 
additional vitamin D. 

The rumen organisms can synthesize vitamin K. 

At present, no consistent benefit has been reported from supple- 
mental vitamin E. 

Vitamin A is of major, practical significance in beef cattle feeding. 
Vitamin A deficiencies appear in feedlot cattle receiving rations that 
we formerly thought contained adequate amounts of carotene. Caro- 
tene is the precursor of vitamin A, converted into A in the paunch. 
Carotene is found in abundance in pasture and green roughages, as well 
as in yellow corn. 

We recommend adding the following minimum amounts (Inter- 
national Units) of true vitamin A per head daily to the rations of 
feeder cattle: 

Cattle wintered on corn silage 10,000 I.U. 

Cattle full-fed during the winter 20,000 IJJ. 

Cattle full-fed grain on pasture 20,000 I.U. 

Cattle fed in drylot in the summer 30,000 I.U. 

Cattle being pastured with no grain, or wintered on rations that are 

mostly hay or legume silage No extra vitamin A 

Recommended amounts to add to a ton of supplement are given 
in Table 1. 



Table 1. — Recommended Amounts of True Vitamin A 
To Be Added per Ton of Supplement 

Addition per ton Addition per ton 

when supplement when supplement 

is fed at the is fed at the 

rate of 1 pound rate of 2 pounds 

per head per day per head per day 

(International Units) 

Cattle wintered on corn silage 20,000,000 10,000,000 

Cattle full-fed during the winter 40,000,000 20,000,000 

Cattle full-fed grain on pasture 40,000,000 20,000,000 

Cattle fed in drylot in the summer 60,000,000 30,000,000 



Research has indicated that the microorganisms in the paunch of 
mature cattle are capable of producing B-complex vitamins, generally 
in excess of the requirements. Materials such as yeast which are high 
in B-vitamins appear to be of little value in feedlot rations. B-vitamins 
may be needed by the very young calf before rumen fermentation is 
established or by starved or severely stressed cattle in which the rumen 
microbial activity has ceased. 

RATION CONSIDERATIONS 

Balancing Rations 

The National Research Council publishes the nutrient requirements 
of beef cattle on the basis of available research data. These require- 
ments are believed to be adequate under most conditions for normal 
health, growth, finishing, and reproduction. However, in practice, they 
are often exceeded slightly to account for variation in feed quality and 
individual animal needs. 

The daily nutrient requirements of beef cattle can be determined 
from the National Research Council Tables 7 and 8 on pages 18 and 19. 
To illustrate the use of the tables, refer to line 8, Table 7. It gives the 
requirements for growing a 441-pound steer calf to gain 1.65 pounds 
a day. Pounds of dry matter required per animal each day are given 
as dry matter, completely free of moisture. Protein, TDN, calcium, 
and phosphorus requirements are given as pounds per head per day. 

A normal daily ration for this calf might well be 30 pounds of corn 
silage, 1 pound of soybean meal, and 2 pounds of alfalfa hay. Using 
the feed analysis table on page 20 (lines 15, 31, and 1), calculate the 
total dry matter, protein, TDN, calcium, and phosphorus supplied by 



this ration. The correct figures are 11.7 pounds of total dry matter, 
1.49 pounds of protein, 8.08 pounds of TDN, 0.062 pound of calcium, 
and 0.033 pound of phosphorus, as shown below: 

Total 

dry Total Cat- Phos- 

matter, protein, TDN, cium, phorus, 

lb. lb. lb. lb. lb. 

Daily requirements 11.00 1.23 7.70 .040 .031 

Amount in ration 

30 lb. corn silage 9.00 .72 6.30 .030 .021 

1 lb. soybean meal 89 .46 .77 .003 .007 

2 lb. alfalfa hay 1.81 .31 1.01 .029 .005 

Totalinfeed 11.70 1.49 8.08 .062 .033 

The table of requirements indicated a need for 11 pounds of total 
dry matter, 1.23 pounds of protein, 7.70 pounds of TDN, 0.04 pound 
of calcium, and 0.031 pound of phosphorus daily. Thus the ration is 
adequate in these nutrients and should support the rate of gain specified 
when these requirements are met. 

The Pierson Square can be used to determine the proportion of two 
feeds needed to provide a certain protein level in a mixture, as shown 
in these examples. 

Example 1: Soybean meal at 49 percent protein and corn at 9 percent 
crude protein are mixed to provide an 11 percent crude protein mixture. 
The diagonal differences determine the parts of each feed. 



Soybean meal 49 



Corn 9 




2 parts of soybean meal 



38 parts of corn 
40 total parts 



2 -r- 40 = 5 percent soybean meal 
38 -^ 40 = 95 percent corn 



Example 2: Urea at 281 percent crude protein equivalent and corn at 9 
percent crude protein are mixed to provide an 11 percent crude protein 
mixture. 



Urea 281 



Corn 9 




2 parts of urea 



270 parts of corn 
272 total parts 



2 -r- 272 = 0.75 percent urea (15 pounds per ton of mixture) 
270 -=- 272 = 99.25 percent corn 

Protein Supplements 

Protein supplements may contain a variety of ingredients, especially 
if supplemental minerals and vitamins are to be included as well as 
growth stimulants. The use of additives such as hormones and anti- 
biotics is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and a permit 
is required before such ingredients can be mixed into feeds. Levels, 
kinds, and combinations of hormones or antibiotics for use in finishing 
rations should be those recommended by the manufacturer or feed 
supplier and should meet any usage requirement of the Food and Drug 
Administration. 

Simple formulas can be mixed on farms, although premixes supply- 
ing vitamins, trace minerals, and additives can be obtained in some 
areas. Growth-stimulating hormones can be implanted if they are not 
supplied in the feed. 

Supplement formulas provided by various universities may vary 
slightly, but animal performance would probably be similar if crude 
protein equivalent and additives are comparable. The formulas in 
Tables 2 and 3 have been designed to meet the supplement needs of 
Illinois rations while offering simplicity and convenience for home- 
mixing. 

High-grain finishing rations need more supplemental calcium than 
high-roughage growing rations. Antibiotics can be fed in high-grain 
rations for control of liver abscesses; use of some roughage will help 



Table 2. 


— Supplements for High-Silage Rations 


Ingredients 


Percent crude protein 


45 56 a 68 b 



(pounds per ton) 

Soybean meal (49% protein) 1 ,800 1 ,700 1 ,600 

Urea (45% nitrogen) 100 200 

Di-cal phosphate 100 100 100 

Trace-mineralized salt 100 100 100 

Vitamin A + + + 

a About 25 percent of protein equivalent (14 out of the 56) supplied by urea. 
b About 41 percent of protein equivalent (28 out of the 68) supplied by urea. 
c See Table 1 for amounts of vitamin A. 

Table 3. — Finishing Supplements 

Percent crude protein 

Ingredients ; 

& 41 a 54 b 67° 60 d 80 

(pounds per ton) 

Soybean meal (49% protein) 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,300 

Urea (45% nitrogen) 100 200 300 200 550 

Ground corn 600 450 ... ... 695 

Dried molasses ... 200 ... 200 

Ground limestone 100 150 200 200 250 

Di-cal phosphate 100 100 150 150 150 

Trace-mineralized salt 100 100 150 150 150 

Flowers of sulfur ... ... ... 5 

Vitamin A e -f + + + + 

a About 34 percent of protein equivalent (14 out of 41) supplied by urea. 
b About 52 percent of protein equivalent (28 out of 54) supplied by urea. 
c About 63 percent of protein equivalent (42 out of 67) supplied by urea. 
d About 46 percent of protein equivalent (28 out of 60) supplied by urea. 



control this problem. Higher levels of urea can be included in finishing 
rations. In University of Nebraska tests, good overall results were 
obtained from using a supplement with liberal amounts of soybean 
meal for the first two to three weeks, followed by a switch to a high- 
urea supplement. There is recent evidence in Illinois research that the 
addition of some plant protein is required for maximum daily gains 
on high-energy rations. 

The formulas for finishing supplements given in Table 3 are de- 
signed for mixing into complete rations. Note that combinations of 
soybean meal and urea are offered as well as urea diluted with ground 
corn. With proper mixing facilities single ingredients in the supple- 
ments could be added to complete rations. The crude protein content 
of these supplements would be reduced slightly if 44 percent soybean 
meal is used. 



10 



Roughage Replacers 

In an effort to reduce roughage handling, several attempts have 
been made to substitute inert materials which would stimulate the 
rumen to function normally. 

Oyster shells have been tried but have not shown any advantage 
over all-concentrate rations. 

Another material is a corrugated polyethylene pellet which is fed 
in small amounts for six days after cattle are started on an all-grain 
ration. The plastic supposedly remains in the rumen until slaughter 
and is expected to provide the physical stimulation of the rumen nor- 
mally provided by roughage. Successes with the feeding of whole 
shelled corn suggest that roughage replacers may not be necessary. In 
most cases, they have not reduced the amount of grain required per 
unit of weight gain. 

Finishing Rations 

Research at the University of Illinois and at other stations indicates 
that cattle receiving high-energy finishing rations utilize a roughage 
component very poorly. In other words, the roughage replaces very 
little if any grain in such rations although a small amount of roughage 
(5 to 10 percent on an air-dry basis) will often keep the cattle healthier 
and support a higher rate of gain. 

The digestive climate of the rumen changes when grain replaces 
roughage. Poor utilization of roughage in finishing rations might thus 
be expected. All-grain rations involving dry shelled corn or rolled 
high-moisture corn have been fed successfully although feedlot manage- 
ment must be excellent to avoid founder and severe digestive distur- 
bances. Cattle must be comfortable and near feed and water at all times. 
When all the roughage is removed, the potassium level of the ration 
may be borderline or deficient. The requirement for potassium in all- 
grain rations has not been established but levels of 0.5 percent or more 
have been suggested. Dry corn contains about 0.3 percent potassium, 
and potassium as carbonate, chloride, or sulfate has been used to in- 
crease ration levels of this mineral. 

Starting Cattle on Feed 

If cattle have been receiving some grain before being placed in the 
finishing lot, their grain may be increased at the rate of 1/2 pound per 
day until they reach a full feed. As cattle approach full feed, watch to 
see that they do not overeat. Increases should be made then only if 
cattle clean up their feed. 



11 



If cattle are not accustomed to grain, use the following schedule: 

1. First day — Feed 1 to 3 pounds of grain and 5 pounds of hay or 
silage equivalent. Mix grain and roughage. 

2. Daily increase — Increase grain 1 pound per head daily until cattle 
are receiving 1 pound per hundredweight. Make sure that all cattle 
are eating. 

3. After the daily grain allowance reaches 1 percent of the bodyweight, 
increase grain 1/2 pound per day for heavy feeders or 1/2 pound 
every other day for light feeders if the feed is cleaned up. 

4. Reduce roughage allowance, but give cattle all they will eat along 
with the above concentrate allowances. 

5. Add protein supplement as recommended in rations for various 
classes of cattle. 

6. Cattle will be on a full feed of grain when they are eating more than 
1.5 percent of their weight in grain and supplement. However, they 
will eat 2.0 to 2.5 percent of their weight if most of the roughage is 
removed. 

Grain Processing 

Recent tests by several universities and feed companies have shown 
that rolling or grinding dry shelled corn has not improved rate of gain 
or feed conversion for calves or yearlings. This appears to be true 
whether roughage is fed or not. High-moisture shelled corn (24 to 30 
percent moisture), however, is utilized more efficiently when it is 
cracked or rolled, and some tests with heavy steers show a benefit from 
rolling dry corn. 

Although steam flaking of corn has been shown to improve feed 
efficiency, the cost of the processing prohibits its use on all but high- 
volume operations. New methods such as dry cooking or roasting 
should be watched for possible benefits in smaller feedlots. 

The feeding of high-moisture corn is popular in Illinois because it 
allows earlier harvesting of corn and results in a very palatable feed 
if it is handled and stored properly. In comparing high-moisture corn 
with dry shelled corn, some tests have shown no difference in feed 
efficiency while others have shown 5 to 10 percent improvement from 
rolled high-moisture corn (24 to 30 percent moisture). Dry-matter in- 
take with high-moisture corn is sometimes below that obtained with 
dry corn, resulting in a slower rate of gain with the wet corn. 

Dry corn can be reconstituted back to high-moisture grain by grind- 
ing and adding water to obtain a feed similar in feeding qualities to 



12 



natural high-moisture corn. But recent successes with the feeding of 
whole dry shelled corn make it questionable whether reconstitution is 
necessary. Actually, any differences in feed efficiency between wet and 
dry corn are probably outweighed by the choice of a corn harvesting 
and storing system which is the most practical and convenient for a 
given farm. High-moisture corn does not have to be stored in a gastight 
facility if proper care is taken to grind and seal the corn and to feed 
sufficient amounts to prevent surface spoilage at the opening. At many 
of the larger feedlots in Illinois, the operators are now storing high- 
moisture ground shelled corn in a trench or bunker silo with good 
results. 

SUGGESTED RATIONS FOR FEEDER CATTLE 

Rations for Growing or Wintering Steer Calves 
To Get Them Ready for the Finishing Lot 

Ration 1. Full-feed corn silage and add enough protein supple- 
ment to bring the air-dry ration to 1 1 percent crude protein. For good- 
quality corn silage at 65 percent moisture, 2 pounds of 40 percent pro- 
tein supplement per head daily would be sufficient. If 2 to 3 pounds of 
legume hay are fed, the supplement can be reduced to 1 pound per head 
per day. Expected gain, 1.5 to 1.7 pounds per head per day. 

Ration 2. Full-feed alfalfa haylage and 4 pounds of corn per 
head daily. Expected gain, 1.5 to 1.7 pounds per head per day. If hay 
is used in place of haylage, the expected gain would be 1.25 to 1.5 
pounds per head per day. 

Ration 3. Full-feed legume-grass or oat silage, 4 pounds of corn 
or oats, and 2 to 3 pounds of legume hay. Add 1 pound of protein sup- 
plement per calf daily with oat silage. Expected gain, 1.5 to 1.7 pounds 
per head per day. 

Rations for Growing or Wintering Heifer Calves 
To Get Them Ready for the Finishing Lot 

Growing heifer calves can be fed Rations 1, 2, and 3 suggested for 
growing steer calves. Expected gain, 1.25 to 1.75 pounds per head per 
day. Since heifers tend to finish sooner than steers, they should not be 
fed a growing ration after they reach about 600 pounds, although this 
weight will vary some with the type of heifer fed. If heifers are kept 
on a growing ration too long, they tend to become "cowy" in appearance 
by the time they are finished and will be discounted in sale price when 
they go to market. 



13 



Finishing Rations for Various Classes of Beef Cattle 

A finishing ration for any class of cattle usually contains 70 to 90 
percent grain (air-dry basis). The following rations could be used for 
finishing calves, yearlings, and two-year-old steers as well as for lower 
quality cattle fed for a shorter time. 

Ration 1. Full-feed dry whole shelled corn, rolled high-moisture 
shelled corn, or ground ear corn. The modern approach to finishing 
rations is to reduce roughage to 5 to 10 percent of the ration (air-dry 
basis). In the final ration, this would mean 5 to 10 pounds per head 
daily of corn silage or 1 to 2 pounds of hay. A finishing ration involving 
ground ear corn does not need any additional roughage. Add enough 
protein supplement to bring the air-dry ration to 11 percent crude pro- 
tein for yearling cattle. Recent Illinois research suggests that finishing 
calves (500-700 pounds) may need 13 percent crude protein in the 
ration. Rate of gain will range from 2.5 to 3 pounds per head daily, 
depending on type and class as well as environmental conditions. 

Ration 2. Maximize use of corn silage for finishing when the 
corn silage is available and cannot be used for growing other cattle. 
Add enough protein supplement to make an 11 percent protein ration 
(air-dry basis). The rate of gain will be 2.25 to 2.75 pounds per head 
daily, near that obtained from rations with more grain, but feed con- 
version will not be as good. The ratio of corn silage to grain could be 
handled by one of the following methods: 

• Start with a full feed of corn silage and add corn at a level of 0.5 
percent of bodyweight for the first 30 days. Increase the corn level 
by 0.5 percent of bodyweight each month until the cattle are re- 
ceiving 2.5 percent of bodyweight daily. Feed corn silage to appetite 
as corn allowance is increased. 

• Feed 20 or 25 pounds of corn silage and as much corn as the cattle 
will consume and still clean up the corn silage. 

• Depending on the quality of the cattle and the final degree of finish 
desired, feed either 1 or 2 percent of bodyweight as corn and all 
the corn silage the cattle will clean up. 

Ration 3. Maximize the use of alfalfa haylage for finishing when 
the haylage is available and cannot be used for growing other cattle. 
Starting with a full feed of haylage, provide corn at 1 percent of body- 
weight daily. The corn allowance should be increased 0.5 percent each 
month until the cattle receive at least 2 percent of their bodyweight as 
grain. No protein supplement is needed unless the ration contains less 



14 



than 5 to 7 pounds of roughage on an air-dry basis. Rate of gain will 
be similar to that with corn silage rations, 2.25 to 2.75 pounds per day. 
Ration 4. Start cattle on self-feeders containing a mixture of 50 
percent ground hay and 50 percent shelled corn. The cattle should be 
full of hay or other feed before they are given access to the feeder and 
should be watched closely at first to see that they find the feed and start 
eating. The hay can be reduced to 10 percent of the ration in a month's 
time or removed completely with good management. The ration must 
be completely mixed. A pelleted supplement is needed with whole 
shelled corn. About 5 percent of a 50 percent protein supplement would 
balance a mixture of corn and supplement at 11 percent protein. Ex- 
pected gain, 2.5 to 3.0 pounds per day. 

Handling Feeder Cattle on Pasture 

Thin cattle will make the best use of improved nontillable pasture if 
grazed without grain feeding. Maximum grass gain or pounds of beef 
per acre will result if grain is omitted, but heifer calves should not be 
grazed without grain feeding or they may be "cowy" in appearance 
when they are finally ready for market. 

Plan 1. Pasture without grain for 60 to 100 days. Then full-feed 
for 4 to 5 months, preferably in drylot. Start feeding grain as soon as 
pasture becomes short or unpalatable as a result of hot, dry weather. 
In drylot use Finishing Ration 1. Expected gain, 1.25 to 1.5 pounds 
per head per day on pasture; 2.5 to 3.0 pounds per head per day in 
drylot. 

Plan 2. Pasture with limited grain for 90 days ; then full-feed 
90 to 120 days, preferably in drylot. When on limited grain, feed about 
1 pound of grain daily for every 100 pounds of liveweight. No protein 
supplement is needed when cattle are on limited grain and good pasture. 
In drylot, use Finishing Ration 1. Expected gain: 1.75 to 2 pounds per 
head per day on pasture ; 2 to 2.5 pounds per head per day in drylot. 

SUGGESTED RATIONS FOR THE BREEDING HERD 

Standard Wintering Rations for Beef Cows 

Ration 1. A full-feed of legume or mixed hay is a satisfactory 
ration for wintering the cow herd. Cows need about 20 pounds or more 
per head daily, depending on size and condition of the cows. A cheaper 
but adequate ration would be a half-feed of good legume hay and non- 
legume roughages, such as straw or cornstalk pasture. 



15 



Ration 2. Full-feed legume or legume-grass silage. If it is avail- 
able, cows like some dry roughage. At least 3 pounds of hay or straw 
per head daily will be adequate. 

Ration 3. Feed a limited amount of corn silage (10 to 20 pounds) 
per head daily plus a half feed of legume hay. 

Ration 4. Feed 10 to 20 pounds of corn silage plus 1 pound of 
soybean meal. Feed straw and minerals free-choice. 

Ration 5. Feed 20 pounds of grass silage plus straw and minerals 
free-choice. 

Standard Wintering Rations for Beef Bulls 

Herd sires will need 5 to 6 pounds of grain daily in addition to the 
roughage rations listed above for cows. 

Alternate Wintering Rations for Beef Cows 

Ground corncobs, cornstalk pasture, bean pumice, and oat or wheat 
straw are examples of the low-quality roughages mentioned in the 
following rations. If you have such roughage, these rations will get 
your cattle through the winter. If the cattle are very thin, however, it 
may be advisable to supplement the roughage rations with some corn. 

Ration 1. Feed low-quality roughage free-choice and 2 to 3 
pounds of a supplement fortified with minerals and vitamin A. 

Ration 2. Feed 5 pounds of good legume hay plus low-quality 
roughage free-choice, 1 pound of soybean meal, and minerals free- 
choice. 

Ration 3. Feed low-quality roughage free-choice, 1 pound of 
alfalfa meal or pellets, 1 pound of soybean meal, and minerals free- 
choice. 

Ration 4. Feed 10 to 15 pounds of grass silage, low-quality 
roughage free-choice, 1/2 pound of soybean meal, and minerals free- 
choice. 

Ration 5. Feed fescue pasture, 1 pound of soybean meal, and 
minerals free-choice. If pasture has no green color, feed 1 pound of 
alfalfa pellets or add vitamin A to the soybean meal. 



16 



APPROXIMATE FEED REQUIREMENTS PER HEAD 

Table 4. — Amounts of Feed Required per Head 
for Finishing Programs With Corn Silage 

Corn Hay S ™** Silage D ^» daily 
(bu.) (lb.) ™»* (tons) fa ° r n m gain 

Steer calves (450 pounds), to gain 

600 pounds 50 600 360 2.5 270 2.2 

Heifer calves (400 pounds), to gain 

450 pounds 40 500 300 2.0 240 1.9 

Yearling steers (700 pounds), to 

gain 400 pounds 40 500 225 1.5 160 2.5 

Yearling heifers (550 pounds), to 

gain 350 pounds 35 500 200 1.25 160 2.2 

2-year-old steers (800 pounds'), to 

gain 350 pounds 35 300 200 1.50 130 2.7 

Table 5. — Amounts of Feed Required per Head 
for Finishing Programs With Alfalfa Haylage 

r 5 - 5 f° Supple- Days , A X" 

Corn moisture FH . 3 daily 

/, s , , ment on • J 

(b "- ) h gn,f <■■>■> '»- fbl) 

Steer calves (450 pounds), to gain 600 

pounds 65 2.25 75 a 270 2.2 

Heifer calves (400 pounds), to gain 450 

pounds 50 1.75 75" 240 1.9 

Yearling steers (700 pounds), to gain 400 

pounds 50 1 . 25 80 160 2.5 

Yearling heifers (550 pounds), to gain 350 

pounds 45 1.0 80 160 2.2 

2-year-old steers (800 pounds), to gain 350 

pounds 45 1.25 65 130 2.7 

a Supplement to be fed at the rate of 1/2 pound per day for the last ISO days on feed. 

Table 6. — Amounts of Feed Required per Head for Finishing Programs 
With High-Concentrate Rations 

Corn Hay Su ^ Da y s daily 
/u \ /iu \ ment on • 

(bu.) (lb.) (lb) farm gam 

Steer calves (500 pounds), to gain 500 

pounds 60 600 300 200 2.5 

Steer calves (600 pounds), to gain 450 

pounds 55 500 270 180 2.5 

Yearling steers (700 pounds), to gain 400 

pounds.. 55 450 200 150 2.7 

Yearling heifers (600 pounds), to gain 350 

pounds 50 400 150 145 2.4 

2-year-old steers (800 pounds), to gain 350 

pounds 50 450 150 120 2.9 



NUTRIENT REQUIREMENTS 

Table 7. — Nutrient Requirements of Growing and Finishing Cattle 
(Daily Nutrients per Animal) 



Line 



Refer- 
ence 
body 

weight 
(lb.) 



Av. 
daily- 
gain 
(lb.) 



Daily 
dry 

matter 
per 

animal 
(lb.) 



Total 
protein 

(lb.) 



TDN 

(lb.) 



Calcium 
(lb.) 



Phos- 
phorus 
(lb.) 



Growing Steers 

1 331 6.0 .46 3.3 

2 331 .55 6.8 .75 4.4 

3 331 1.10 7.1 .86 5.1 

4 331 1.65 7.1 .95 5.5 

5 441 7.3 .57 4.2 

6 441 .55 9.9 .99 5.7 

7 441 1.10 10.8 1.19 6.8 

8 441 1.65 11.0 1.23 7.7 

9 661 9.9 .77 5.7 

10 661 .55 13.4 1.19 7.7 

11 661 1.10 17.0 1.69 9.7 

12 661 1.65 17.6 1.96 11.0 

13 882 12.3 .97 7.0 

14 882 .55 17.0 1.41 9.7 

15 882 1.10 21.4 1.89 12.1 

16 882 1.65 21.8 1.94 13.9 

Finishing Steer Calves 

17 331 2.00 7.7 .99 5.9 

18 441 2.20 11.0 1.34 8.1 

19 661 2.40 15.7 1.91 11.7 

20 882 2.40 19.4 2.16 14.3 

21 992 2.30 20.7 2.29 15.2 

Finishing Yearling Steers 

22 551 2.90 15.9 1.76 11.4 

23 661 2.90 18.3 2.02 13.2 

24 882 2.90 22.7 2.51 16.3 

25 1102 2.65 25.4 2.82 18.3 

Finishing Two- Year- Old Steers 

26 772 3.10 22.7 2.51 16.1 

27 882 3.10 24.9 2.75 17.6 

28 1102 3.10 29.5 3.28 20.9 

29 1213 2.90 30.2 3.34 21.3 

Finishing Heifer Calves 

30 331 1.80 7.7 .99 5.9 

31 441 2.00 11.0 1.34 8.1 

32 661 2.20 16.1 1.96 11.9 

33 882 2.10 19.2 2.13 14.1 

Finishing Yearling Heifers 

34 551 2.65 16.8 1.85 12.1 

35 661 2.65 19.0 2.09 13.6 

36 882 2.65 23.6 2.62 16.9 

37 992 2.40 24.3 2.68 17.4 



.011 


.011 


.018 


.015 


.026 


.022 


.037 


.029 


.013 


.013 


.018 


.018 


.029 


.022 


.040 


.031 


.018 


.018 


.024 


.024 


.031 


.031 


.037 


.033 


.022 


.022 


.031 


.031 


.037 


.037 


.040 


.040 


046 


.033 


051 


.037 


057 


.042 


055 


.044 


046 


.046 


064 


.044 


064 


.046 


062 


.051 


057 


.057 


066 


.053 


066 


.055 


066 


.066 


066 


.066 


040 


.029 


046 


.033 


051 


.040 


051 


.042 


059 


.044 


059 


.044 


066 


.053 


053 


.053 



Source: Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, Fourth Revised Edition, 1970. National 
Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. 



Table 8. — Nutrient Requirements of the Breeding Herd 
(Daily Nutrients per Animal) 



Line 


Refer- 
ence 
body 

weight 
(lb.) 


Ay. 
daily 
gain 
(lb.) 


Daily 

dry 
matter 

per 
animal 

(lb.) 


Total 

protein 

(lb.) 


TDN 

(lb.) 


Calcium 
(lb.) 


Phos- 
phorus 
(lb.) 






Growing Heifers 








1 


331 





6.0 


.46 


3.3 


.Oil 


.011 


2 


331 


.55 


7.1 


.79 


4.4 


.018 


.015 


3 


331 


1.1 


7.1 


.86 


5.1 


.026 


.022 


4 


331 


1.65 


7.3 


.97 


5.7 


.037 


.029 


5 


441 





7.3 


.57 


4.2 


.013 


.013 


6 


441 


.55 


10.1 


1.01 


5.7 


.018 


.018 


7 


441 


1.1 


11.0 


1.23 


7.0 


.029 


.022 


8 


441 


1.65 


11.9 


1.32 


8.1 


.040 


.031 


9 


661 





9.9 


.77 


5.7 


.018 


.018 


10 


661 


.55 


13.7 


1.21 


7.7 


.024 


.024 


11 


661 


1.1 


18.1 


1.80 


10.3 


.033 


.033 


12 


661 


1.65 


19.0 


2.09 


11.9 


.037 


.033 


13 


882 





12.3 


.97 


7.0 


.022 


.022 


14 


882 


.55 


17.0 


1.41 


9.7 


.031 


.031 


15 


882 


1.1 


22.5 


2.00 


12.8 


.040 


.040 


16 


882 


1.65 


23.4 


2.07 


14.7 


.042 


.042 




Dry Pregnant Mature Cows 








17 


772 




12.8 


.75 


6.2 


.020 


.020 


18 


882 




14.1 


.84 


7.0 


.022 


.022 


19 


992 




15.0 


.88 


7.5 


.026 


.026 


20 


1102 




16.8 


.97 


8.4 


.026 


.026 


21 


1213 




17.6 


1.03 


8.8 


.026 


.026 


22 


1323 




19.0 


1.10 


9.5 


.029 


.029 




Cows Nursing Calves, 


First 3-4 Months After Calving 




23 


772 




19.0 


1.74 


10.8 


.055 


.044 


24 


882 




20.5 


1.89 


11.7 


.057 


.046 


25 


992 




21.8 


2.00 


12.3 


.062 


.048 


26 


1102 




23.1 


2.13 


13.2 


.062 


.051 




Bulls, Growth and Maintenance (Moderate Activity) 




27 


661 


2.2 


19.2 


2.66 


12.3 


.051 


.040 


28 


882 


2.0 


22.0 


2.93 


14.3 


.042 


.040 


29 


1102 


1.5 


26.5 


3.52 


15.6 


.046 


.046 


30 


1323 


1.1 


25.6 


3.12 


15.2 


.046 


.046 


31 


1543 


.66 


28.0 


3.10 


15.8 


.051 


.051 


32 


1764 





21.8 


2.18 


12.3 


.040 


.040 


33 


1984 





23.6 


2.35 


13.4 


.042 


.042 



Source: Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, Fourth Revised Edition, 1970. National 
Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. 



19 



Table 9. — Nutrient Content of Commonly Used Feedstuffs 



Line 



Feed 



Total 

dry 

matter 



Total 
protein 



TDN 



Cal- 
cium 



Phos- 
phorus 



1 Alfalfa, hay, all analyses 90.5 15.3 

2 Alfalfa meal, dehydrated 92 . 7 17.7 

3 Bromegrass hay 88.8 10.4 

4 Red clover hay, all analyses. . . 88.3 12 

5 Clover-timothy hay (30-50% 

clover) 88.1 8.6 

6 Ladino clover hay 89.5 18.5 

7 Corncobs 90.4 2.3 

8 Lespedeza hay, in bloom 89.1 13 

9 Mixed hay, less than 30% 

legumes 89.2 8.8 

10 Oat straw 89.8 4.1 

11 Soybean hay 88.1 14.6 

12 Wheat straw 92.6 3.9 

Silages 

13 Alfalfa, wilted 36.2 6.3 

14 Alfalfa haylage 60 10.4 

15 Corn, dent, well matured 30.0 2.4 

16 Grass silage, including legumes 25.6 3.6 

17 Pea vine 24.5 3.2 

18 Sorghum, sweet 25.4 1.6 

19 Sudan grass 25 . 7 2.2 

20 Corn, factory waste 22.4 2 

Concentrates 

21 Barley 89.4 12.7 

22 Corn and cob meal 86.1 7.4 

23 Corn, No. 2 85 8.7 

24 Cottonseed meal, solvent 91.4 41.6 

25 Linseed meal, expeller 90.9 35.3 

26 Linseed meal, solvent 90.9 35.1 

27 Oats 90.2 12 

28 Rye 89.5 12.6 

29 Sorghum, milo 89 10.9 

30 Soybeans 90 37.9 

31 Soybean meal, solvent 89.3 45.8 

32 Wheat 89.4 13.5 

33 Wheat bran 89.1 16 

Minerals 

34 Steamed bone meal 95.2 12.1 

35 Di-cal phosphate ... 

36 Limestone ... 



(percer 


it) 






50.7 


1.47 


24 


54.4 


1.6 


26 


49.3 


.42 


19 


51.8 


1.28 


2 


51 


.69 


16 


59.5 


1.53 


29 


45.7 


.11 


04 


46.4 


1 


19 


48.8 


.9 


19 


44.8 


.24 


09 


48.6 


1.1 


22 


40.6 


.15 


07 


21.5 


.51 


12 


35.8 




84 


2 


21.0 




1 


07 


15.5 








14 




32 


06 


15.2 




08 


06 


14.4 




11 


04 


16.1 








77.7 


.06 


4 


73.2 


.04 


22 


80.1 


.02 


27 


66.1 


.15 1 


1 


76.3 


.44 


89 


71 


.4 


83 


70.1 


.09 


33 


76.5 


.1 


33 


79.4 


.03 


28 


87.6 


.25 


59 


77.2 


.32 


67 


79.6 


.05 


42 


65.9 


.14 1. 


17 




29 13 


6 




28 18 






38 







20 



OTHER PUBLICATIONS ON BEEF CATTLE PRODUCTION 

These are available from your county extension adviser, or you can 
order from Animal Science Department, 328 Mumford Hall, Univer- 
sity of Illinois, Urbana 61801. 

Beef Cattle Management Suggestions. Circular 1026. 
Beef Report. This is a quarterly review of beef cattle information 
coming from the Departments of Animal Science, Agricultural Eco- 
nomics, and Agricultural Engineering. Ask your local extension adviser 
to place your name on his mailing list. 



Urbana, Illinois Revised September, 1972 

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, 
in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. JOHN B. CLAAR, Director, Coopera- 
tive Extension Service, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

12M — 12-70—16034 
6M— 9-72—22466 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA 

Q.630.7IL6C C005 

CIRCULAR URBANA. ILL. 
1025 1972 




3 0112 019532560